Ghost have always resided on the poppier side of metal, fusing high-gain electric guitar riffs with uber-catchy vocals and pristine production.
And for their latest single, Twenties, the Tobias Forge-led theatrical metal powerhouse have tapped into reggaeton, utilizing its characteristic syncopated beat as a bedrock underneath distorted six-strings and a frantic brass section.
The guitar mainly serves as one of many elements in a chaotic mix, however a searing solo from the 2:42 mark sees one of Forge's Nameless Ghouls let loose with a rapid-fire ascending run, some soaring, vibrato-flavored bends and a series of pull-off-driven descends. Check the track out below.
Following Hunter's Moon and Call Me Little Sunshine, Twenties is the third single from Ghost's forthcoming fifth studio outing, Impera. The album follows 2018's Prequelle, and will arrive via Loma Vista Recordings on March 11.
Forge shrewdly described Twenties as a “Slayer meets some sort of Missy Elliott thing” in an recent interview with Kerrang! (opens in new tab)
“That song has super aggressive lyrics, it's very hostile,” he said. “It's still meant as a pep-talk, but it's basically demeaning and openly hating anyone who's listening. It promises only air, but poisoned air. And yet it still wraps it up as a gift, as something you should say ‘thank you’ for. Which is like a lot of the bullshit that we've been seeing the past couple of years.”
Back in January, Ghost's Nameless Ghouls debuted new masks and outfits while on tour with Volbeat, as well as a yet-unreleased song from Impera, Kaisarion. The Ghoul in charge of guitar duties appeared also to switch his Hagstrom Fantomen for a modified Fender Stratocaster with single coil-sized rail humbucker pickups.
Thematically, Impera will transport fans “hundreds of years forward from the 14th century Europe Black Plague era” of their last album, Prequelle.
“The result is the most ambitious and lyrically incisive entry in the Ghost canon,” they explain. “Over the course of Impera's 12-song cycle, empires rise and fall, would-be messiahs ply their hype (financial and spiritual alike), prophecies are foretold as the skies fill with celestial bodies divine and man-made...
“All in all, the most current and topical Ghost subject matter to date is set against a hypnotic and darkly colorful melodic backdrop, making Impera a listen like no other – yet unmistakably, quintessentially Ghost.”
Check out the album's tracklisting below.
- Call Me Little Sunshine
- Hunter’s Moon
- Watcher In The Sky
- Darkness At The Heart Of My Love
- Grift Wood
- Bite Of Passage
- Respite On The Spital Fields